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DNP - PhD Program Comparison

The DNP degree is a practice doctorate. The PhD is a research doctorate. Graduates of PhD programs are prepared to conduct independent research and disseminate their findings. The DNP will provide graduates with the skills and tools necessary to assess the evidence gained through nursing research, evaluate the impact of that research on their practice and, as necessary, make changes to enhance quality of care. Scholarship is an integral part of both doctoral degrees.

 
Doctor of Nursing Practice
PhD in Nursing
Focus
Nursing Practice
Nursing Research
Degree Objectives
To create nursing leaders in interdisciplinary health care teams by providing students with the tools and skills necessary to translate evidence gained through nursing research into practice, improve systems of care and measure outcomes of patient groups, populations and communities.
To prepare nurse scientists to develop new knowledge for the science and practice of nursing. Graduates will lead interdisciplinary research teams, design and conduct research studies and disseminate knowledge for nursing and related disciplines, particularly addressing trajectories of chronic illness and care systems.
Curriculum Focus
Translation of Evidence to Practice, Transformation of Health Care, Health Care Leadership and Advanced Specialty Practice 
Trajectories of Chronic Illness and Care Systems 
Core Courses
EBP I and II, Quantitative Methods, Data-Driven Health Care Improvement, Applied Finance & Budget Planning, Effective Leadership, Transforming the Nation's Health and Health Systems Transformation
Philosophy of Science & Theory Development, Advanced Research Methods, Statistics & Data Analysis, Longitudinal & Qualitative Research Methods, Chronic Illness & Care Systems
Mentored Teaching Experience
Optional
Minimum of 140 hours
Clinical Hours
400 minimum within scholarly project
None
Scholarly Project
Yes
No
Dissertation
No
Yes
Distance Learning/Online Option
Yes
No
Part-time study
Yes. Program designed for working nurses
No
Point of entry
BSN or master's in advanced nursing practice
BSN or MSN (or related master's degree)
Program Length
Five semesters for MSN entry, varies for BSN entry*
Four to five years
Credits Required
35 to 94*
57
Employment Opportunities Post Graduation
Health care administration, clinical nurse faculty
Nurse scientist, nursing faculty
GRE Required
Not for students who have an earned master's
Not for students who have an earned PhD
Tuition Waiver **
N/A
Full tuition, fees and health insurance paid by School of Nursing
Stipend
N/A
Stipend for five years with expectation that students participate in gaining external sponsored support
* Program length and required credits depend on advanced practice specialty selected, 73 to 94 credits for BSN entry. For MSN entry, 35 to 41.
**All applicants are encouraged to discuss financial aid options with the School of Nursing Financial Aid Office.

There is also a pdf version of this chart available for download.